MEDIA RELEASE: FORT MCKAY FIRST NATION REP JOINS WOOD BUFFALO ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE
January 25, 2015
Fort McMurray, Alberta – The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) is pleased to welcome Fort McKay First Nation representative, Ryan Abel, B.Sc., B.Ed., to its Governance Committee. Ryan is the Environmental Lead, In Situ & Forestry with the Fort McKay First Nation, and he currently represents Fort McKay on the WBEA General Members board.
Ryan works closely with Environment Canada in his role with Fort McKay to manage the Oski?ôtin Air Monitoring Site in an effort to better understand air emissions in the oil sands and their impacts on local communities. Ryan’s role with Fort McKay also includes mitigating environmental impacts by developing agreements with companies looking to operate in Fort McKay’s Traditional Territory. Through this work, Ryan helps to ensure that the Fort McKay First Nation can exercise their rights.
Good air quality is something that Ryan is keenly passionate about, and he believes strongly in the WBEA’s efforts to monitor, evaluate and report on air quality trends and environmental health in the
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB).
WBEA Executive Director, Dr. Kevin Percy, is pleased to work with Ryan, and the Fort McKay First Nation, at the Governance Committee level. “Fort McKay has always been a very important stakeholder for WBEA, and we are pleased to welcome Ryan to our governance table. As we move forward to further enhance environmental monitoring in our region, it is critical to have the perspective and voice of Aboriginal communities strongly represented,” said Percy.
Ryan is excited about the opportunity to serve the WBEA and the Fort McKay First Nation by being a member of the Governance Committee. He is very grateful for the support of his fellow WBEA members in his nomination to work on behalf of the Fort McKay First Nation, and to help support high caliber, independent air quality monitoring in the RMWB. Both Ryan and the Fort McKay First Nation greatly value locally run, regional organizations that are truly interested in collaborative problem solving when it comes to oil sands emissions and environmental impacts.
Ryan replaces Linda Aidnell from the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation Industry Relations Corporation. Linda stepped down from her position as WBEA Director in December of last year.